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The First meeting of the WECAFC/OSPESCA/CRFM/CITES/CFMC Working Group on shark conservation and management was held in Barbados on 17-19 October 2017. The meeting was attended by 30 shark fisheries experts from 15 WECAFC member countries and partner agencies. The meeting recognized the decline in various shark and ray stocks in the Caribbean region, as well as the need to conserve the threatened species among them. The meeting stressed the importance of harmonizing conservation and management measures with various international and regional conventions for the protection of these often-migratory species, as well as with measures by regional fisheries management bodies in the Atlantic. The fisheries experts recommended amongst others that the countries in the region should prohibit the removal of shark fins at sea and require that all sharks be landed with their fins naturally attached through the point of first landing of the sharks. The experts recommended the prohibition of targeted fisheries for iconic species, such as whale sharks, sawfishes and manta rays. The experts worked on a regional shark stocks and fisheries status assessment and a Regional Plan of Action for the conservation and management of sharks and rays in the WECAFC area.
Fish accomplish most of their basic behaviors by swimming. Swimming is fundamental in a vast majority of fish species for avoiding predation, feeding, finding food, mating, migrating and finding optimal physical environments. Fish exhibit a wide variety of swimming patterns and behaviors. This treatise looks at fish swimming from the behavioral and
Advances in Marine Biology has been providing in-depth and up-to-date reviews on all aspects of marine biology since 1963--over 40 years of outstanding coverage! The series is well known for its excellent reviews and editing. Now edited by Michael Lesser (University of New Hampshire, USA) with an internationally renowned Editorial Board, the serial publishes in-depth and up-to-date content on many topics that will appeal to postgraduates and researchers in marine biology, fisheries science, ecology, zoology, and biological oceanography. Advances in Marine Biology has been providing in-depth and up-to-date reviews on all aspects of marine biology since 1963--over 40 years of outstanding coverage! The series is well known for its excellence of reviews and editing Now edited by Michael Lesser (University of New Hampshire, USA) with an internationally renowned Editorial Board, the serial publishes in-depth and up-to-date content on many topics that will appeal to postgraduates and researchers in marine biology, fisheries science, ecology, zoology, and biological oceanography
Pelagic sharks are both ecologically and economically valuable as top predators and fishery targets respectively. Their highly migratory nature and cryptic life histories make them logistically difficult to study. Despite their frequent interaction with various global fisheries, they are are difficult to effectively manage. Understanding population connectivity across their cosmopolitan distributions, makes international management more likely. Population genetics is a powerful to address questions of functional population connectivity. Allele frequencies can identify interbreeding population segments, but cannot directly identify individual movement. Tagging, on the other hand, monitors the movement of individuals, but is limited in inference by the number of tags applied. Together, using both molecular tools and tag analyses can provide valuable insight into the ecology of traditionally data-poor species. Two of the shark species most impacted by international fisheries are the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) and the common thresher (Alopias vulpinus). In the first chapter of this dissertation, I developed and optimized nuclear microsatellite loci for both mako and thresher sharks. I then used these loci to test for polyandry in a litter of thresher pups. I developed and optimized 11 novel microsatellite loci for use on shortfin mako shark. I also developed and optimized six novel microsatellite loci and successfully cross screened two mako loci for use on common thresher shark. The analysis of a single litter of thresher pups indicates that polyandry is likely in this pelagic shark. The second chapter focuses on understanding mako population connectivity for makos across the US/Mexico border in the Southern California Bight. To address this question, I use the newly described microsatellite loci and both conventional and archival tag data. Microsatellite analysis across the US/Mexico border indicates that makos in the region comprise a single genetic unit, and both conventional and SPOT tag results corroborate that finding. Temporal effective population size analysis indicates that the Southern California Bight supports a robust and diverse population of mako sharks. My third chapter looks at mako population connectivity across the entire Pacific Ocean using a combination of nuclear and mitochondrial loci supported by tag analyses. On a larger spatial scale, shortfin mako exhibit barriers to mitochondrial gene flow across the equator and east to west across the south Pacific. Nuclear microsatellites, on the other hand, do not show evidence of spatial structuring with the Pacific Ocean basin. This indicates that makos exhibit gender mediated dispersal on oceanic scales. This pattern is weakly supported by tag recapture analysis.
It has often been said that generals prepare for the next war by re-fighting the last. The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was unlike any previous – an underwater well blowout 1,500 meters deep. Much has been learned in the wake of DWH and these lessons should in turn be applied to both similar oil spill scenarios and those arising from “frontier” explorations by the marine oil industry. The next deep oil well blowout may be at 3,000 meters or even deeper. This volume summarizes regional (Gulf of Mexico) and global megatrends in marine oil exploration and production. Research in a number of key areas including the behavior of oil and gas under extreme pressure, impacts on biological resources of the deep sea, and the fate of oil and gas released in spills is synthesized. A number of deep oil spills are simulated with detailed computer models, and the likely effects of the spills and potential mitigation measures used to combat them are compared. Recommended changes in policies governing marine oil exploration and development are proposed, as well as additional research to close critical and emerging knowledge gaps. This volume synthesizes state-of-the-art research in deep oil spill behavior and response. It is thus relevant for government and industry oil spill responders, policy formulators and implementers, and academics and students desiring an in-depth and balanced overview of key issues and uncertainties surrounding the quest for deep oil and potential impacts on the environment.
Over the last decade, the study of shark biology has benefited from the development, refinement, and rapid expansion of novel techniques and advances in technology. These have given new insight into the fields of shark genetics, feeding, foraging, bioenergetics, imaging, age and growth, movement, migration, habitat preference, and habitat use. This pioneering book, written by experts in shark biology, examines technologies such as autonomous vehicle tracking, underwater video approaches, molecular genetics techniques, and accelerometry, among many others. Each detailed chapter offers new insights and promises for future studies of elasmobranch biology, provides an overview of appropriate uses of each technique, and can be readily extended to other aquatic fish and marine mammals and reptiles. Including chapter authors who were pioneers in developing some of the technologies discussed in the book, this book serves as the first single-source reference with in-depth coverage of techniques appropriate for the laboratory and field study of sharks, skates, and rays. It concludes with a unique section on Citizen Science and its application to studies of shark biology. This is a must-read for any marine biologist or scientist working in the field of shark biology, as well as marine biology students and graduates.